24th Infantry Division
The 24th Infantry Division was initially activated in the Regular Army at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, on March 1, 1921 as the Hawaiian Division. Unlike most divisions in the continental United States, the 24th was concentrated on one post during the interwar years, which enabled it to conduct more effective combined arms training.
The 24th Infantry Division was one of the first and last divisions to see combat in World War II. The division sustained minor casualties when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. In May 1943 the division was alerted for movement to Australia and deployed in September of that year. The 24th was part of the assault forces that landed on Dutch New Guinea, where it fought its way to the Hollandia airfield. After occupation duty in the Hollandia area, the division was among the assault forces on Leyte. From there the division went to Luzon and eventually formed an element of the assault forces in the Southern Philippines. After the heroic stand by U.S. and Philippine troops at Bataan and Corregidor, the liberation of the Philippines became the prime military objective in the Southwest Pacific theater. During World War II the division adopted its nickname, "Victory Division." After serving in five campaigns and being decorated by the Philippine government, the 24th left Mindanao on Oct. 15 1945 for occupation duty in Japan.
When the North Koreans attacked South Korea in June 1950, elements of the 24th Infantry Division were the first to arrive in Korea, where they heroically fought a delaying action that permitted the United Nations to build up its forces near Pusan. The division was awarded the Presidential Citation (Army) for its actions. Over the next nineteen months the division fought in seven campaigns and was twice decorated by the Republic of Korea. In February 1952 the "Victory Division" returned to Japan where it served as part of the Far East reserve. In July 1953 the division went back to Korea to restore order in prisoner of war camps. The following year the division returned to Japan, where it served until February 1955. At that time the 24th deployed to Korea for another tour of duty.
When the United States reduced and realigned its divisions in the Far East in 1957, the 24th left Korea, eventually replacing the 11th Airborne Division in Germany. While in Germany, in addition to its standard infantry mission, the 24th fielded airborne units for about two years. The division remained in Germany until 1969 when it redeployed to Fort Riley, Kan., as part of the REFORGER (Return of Forces to Germany) program. As the Army withdrew from Vietnam and reduced its forces, the "Victory Division" was inactivated in April 1970 at Fort Riley.
In September 1975 the 24th Infantry Division was reactivated at Fort Stewart, Ga., as part of the program to build a 16-division force. Targeted for a NATO role, the division was reorganized as a mechanized infantry unit in 1979. The 24th served in the defense of Kuwait campaigns in the 1990s. The 24th was inactivated on Feb. 15, 1996 as a part of the Army’s reduction to a 10-division force. On October 17, 1999, the 24th was once again activated, but with no subordinate units. The division consisted of an active component headquarters and three National Guard enhanced brigades. The division headquarters was responsible for the Guard brigades should they be called to active duty. The active component headquarters was inactivated for the final time on Aug. 1, 2006 at Fort Riley, Kan.
19th Infantry Regiment
The 19th Infantry Regiment was constituted on May 3, 1861 as the 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry. It was organized on July 9, 1861 at Indianapolis, Ind., and consolidated on March 15, 1869 with the 28th Infantry. The consolidated unit was designated as the 19th Infantry. On Oct. 17, 1922 they were assigned to the Hawaiian Division (later redesignated as the 24th Infantry Division).
The 19th Infantry Regiment participated in numerous campaigns during the Civil War, including the battles of Shiloh, Murfreesborough, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Atlanta and campaigns in Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia. Their stand at Chickamauga, one of the bloodiest of the Civil War, earned them their motto, “The Rock of Chicamauga.”
The 19th Infantry Regiment participated in the Indian Wars, escorting supply trains to the troops in the field and scouting. The 19th participated in the War with Spain and the Philippine Insurrection.
During World War II the 19th Infantry Regiment was highly engaged, participating in the Central Pacific, New Guinea, Leyte, Luzon and the Southern Philippines in campaigns. They received Presidential Unit Citations (Army) for their valor in Leyte and Davao. They also received a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
The 19th Infantry Regiment was highly engaged in the Korean War, exemplifying the resolve that earned them their motto almost a century prior. They were involved in the United Nations Defensive and Offensive Actions, the first United Nations Counteroffensive, and a number of offensives and engagements throughout the War. They received the Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for the Defense of Korea, and two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations. Following the cease fire, the 19th Infantry Regiment was assigned to assist with the prisoner repatriation which would bring American captives home. The 19th was assigned to the camp where allies held anti-Communist Chinese POWs on Cheju-do Island.
On June 5, 1958 the 19th was relieved from assignment to the 24th Division and reorganized as a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System. On June 16, 1989 they were withdrawn from the Combat Arms Regimental System, reorganized under the United States Army Regimental System, and transferred to the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command.